- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds on Wednesday brushed off the news of Michael Cohen’s now public recording of President Trump, noting it wasn’t a surprise for those in Congress.

“I don’t think we’re okay with it. It just simply not an item that is a surprise to us,” Mr. Rounds said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

Mr. Cohen was Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney.

According to the October 2016 audio recording played on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Mr. Cohen and the future president discussed setting up a company to buy the rights to Playboy bunny Karen McDougal’s story from American Media, the corporation that owns the National Enquirer. She had alleged an affair with Mr. Trump.

The South Dakota senator explained that his chamber is focused more on “critical issues in front of us worth billions of dollars to our country.” The policy projects they’re working on now include the budget, Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization and legislation regarding cyber activity.

“Some of the stories on the sidebar, as this one is for us right now, it’s not an issue that we spend a lot of time on,” Mr. Rounds said, “It’s just simply for us not news.”

Victor Morton contributed to this article.

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